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Mary J. Harrington

The Rev. Mary J. Harrington is minister emerita of the Winchester Unitarian Society in Winchester, Massachusetts, from which she retired as senior minister in the fall of 2006 after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She cofounded the all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul in 2007, which sponsors service trips to New Orleans, and serves as the organization’s president. In March 2009, Long Haul led its sixteenth and largest intergenerational volunteer trip with fifty volunteers, including thirty college students from four Massachusetts colleges.

Harrington has been a Unitarian Universalist minister since 1995. Before entering the ministry, she worked in non-profit community organizing and philanthropy, and served as executive director of one of the first hospice programs in the United States. She has served UU congregations in Santa Rosa, California; Houston; and Marblehead and Winchester, Massachusetts. She is presently a consulting minister for the North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, Louisiana.

She is also vice president for programs of the Massachusetts Bay chapter of the UU Minister’s Association and moderator of the Greenfield Group, a clergy study group. In May 2009 she received an Honorary Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, her alma mater. UUA President William G. Sinkford invited her to preach at the Service of the Living Tradition at the June 2009 UUA General Assembly in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She and her husband Martin Teitel live in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Sheepscot Village, Maine, and have three children, Jason, Julia and Sam Teitel.


Finding relief in the storm
Volunteering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—and the aftermath of my diagnosis with ALS—has helped me appreciate the complexity of asking for, and offering, help.
By Mary J. Harrington 6.15.09